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Glass Ceilings and Sticky Floors: A Representation Index

Author

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  • Pendakur, Krishna
  • Pendakur, Ravi
  • Woodcock, Simon

Abstract

Recent research on glass ceilings and sticky floors has focused on the magnitude of differences between groups in the upper and lower quantile cutoffs of the conditional wage distribution. However, quantile cutoffs for different groups are only weakly informative of representation. For example, if the top decile cutoff is lower for minority than majority workers, this tells us that minority workers are under-represented in the top decile, but does not tell us the magnitude of the under-representation. In this paper, we propose a direct measure of the representation of a population subgroup, which we define as the proportion of group members whose earnings lie below (or above) a population earnings quantile. Our representation index is easily generalised to condition on characteristics (such as age, education, etc). Further, it generalizes naturally to an index of the severity (or cost) of under-representation to group members, which is based on dollar-weighted representation. Both representation and severity indices are easily calculated via existing regression techniques. We illustrate the approach using Canadian earnings data.

Suggested Citation

  • Pendakur, Krishna & Pendakur, Ravi & Woodcock, Simon, 2006. "Glass Ceilings and Sticky Floors: A Representation Index," MPRA Paper 133, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:133
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 1998. "Rank Regressions, Wage Distributions, and the Gender Gap," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(3), pages 610-643.
    2. James Albrecht & Anders Bjorklund & Susan Vroman, 2003. "Is There a Glass Ceiling in Sweden?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 145-177, January.
    3. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2000. "Gender Differences in Pay," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 75-99, Fall.
    4. Hiau Joo Kee, 2005. "Glass Ceiling or Sticky Floor? Exploring the Australian Gender Pay Gap using Quantile Regression and Counterfactual Decomposition Methods," CEPR Discussion Papers 487, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
    5. Newey, Whitney K & Powell, James L, 1987. "Asymmetric Least Squares Estimation and Testing," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(4), pages 819-847, July.
    6. Mohamed Jellal & Christophe Nordman & François-Charles Wolff, 2006. "Theory and evidence on the glass ceiling effect using matched worker-firm data," Working Papers DT/2006/03, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    7. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-564, June.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    representation; glass ceiling; discrimination; quantile regression; expectile regression;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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